Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Baby Steps: The Truth about Cycling Nutrition

If there's one thing that's universally true about cyclists, it's that we're always willing to pay a premium for commonplace items that are ostensibly "cycling-specific."  For example, there are jeans:



And then there are cycling jeans:


There are regular undershirts*:



And there are cycling undershirts:



*[Uniqlo Heattech undershirts make great winter base layers, by the way.]

And of course there are storage jars:



And then there are cycling-specific storage jars:


Yes, I'm totally changing the name of this blog to "Storage Jar Snob:"


By the way, here are the respective dollar totals for all the items mentioned above:

Non-Cycling Specific: $70.89

Cycling-Specific: $150.71

That's more than a 100% markup just 'cause it's bikey.

I just saved you $79.82.

You're welcome.

Anyway, I mention all of this because a reader named Dale was kind enough to email me and tell me that Clif is now selling baby food pouches to cyclists:


Yes, any owner of a new human child will take just one look at these mush-filled bags with their oversized asphyxiation-proof caps and highly objectionable stomach-turning flavor combinations and conclude, quite rightly, "Holy crap, that's basically just baby food!"

Although as far as I know no baby food company has attempted to sell a bagful of pizza:



Oh yeah, Clif ran the old Bag O' Pizza guy out of business, it's that good:



This then raises an interesting and important question, which is this:

Should Freds be eating baby food?

Well, that depends whether or not your Fred is ready to start solid foods.  Here's how to tell:

--Fred can sit up well without support.
--Fred has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
--Fred is ready and willing to chew.
--Fred is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
--Fred is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.

Okay, clearly Fred's not ready to eat like a big boy.  So now the question becomes whether Fred should eat the Cliff stuff or actual baby food.

Let's compare.

Over at Buy Buy Baby, a 113g pouch of Happy Baby™ Stage 3 goo sells for $1.69


Ensure your child has a healthy, delicious meal with Happy Baby Hearty Meals. Savory blends and yummy combinations of organic ingredients provide balanced nutrition for little ones. Portable pouch makes feeding on the go easy.

Whereas on that site named after a river you can pick up a six-pack of Clif's cycling-specific ooze for $14.24, which comes to $2.37 per pouch:


Of course it's important to keep in mind the Clif pouch is slightly larger at 120g.  So here's what you're really paying:

Clif: approximately 2 cents a gram

Happy Baby™: approximately 1 and a half cents per gram.

So yes, you are paying a premium for the cycling-specific baby food, though admittedly you will pay a bit more for the baby-specific baby food if you go for a premium seasonal flavor like turkey and sage:

I could so easily rebrand this as "BSNYC Labs Special Seasonal Cyclocross Blend!" and charge $20 a pop, and the fact that I'm not is proof of my integrity.

Okay, I know what you're thinking.  "What's actually in all this stuff?  Similar containers aside, baby food and ride fuel are apples and oranges!"

Well, first of all, we're talking about disgusting food in pouches, so a more fitting metaphor than "apples and oranges" would be "apples/oatmeal/roastbeef" and "orange/kale/beet."  Secondly, here's what Li'l Junior's getting in his or her bag of Happy Baby™:
And here's what Li'l Fred's getting in his or her bag of Clif:


Sure, it's not exactly the same, but tell me that shit ain't baby food.

So in conclusion, yes, Freds might as well just eat baby food.

And while I'm praising myself and my integrity, it's worth noting you won't get this sort of in-depth real-world analysis and indispensable budgetary advice in magazines like "Bicycling." Instead you'll just read about how to buy a van:
I dunno, remember that "How To Poop On a Ride" article?  For a magazine about bikes they sure seem unduly interested in motor vehicles and going to the bathroom:

I'm waiting for the feature on how to change your Fred after he's soiled himself mid-ride due to excessive baby food consumption.

Lastly, speaking of motor vehicles, here's a little something from "Outside" about how to open your car door:

And the video is here.

Sadly, in the land of "rolling coal," the chances of this practice becoming widespread are exactly zero.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

podium?

Steve B said...

Cima Coppi?

Dooth said...

Bicycling bikes cost more than bicycles too.

Bagnall said...

Come on

Anonymous said...

topus tenus scrotonautis

Ted K. said...

179. It would be better to dump the whole stinking system and take the consequences.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...i always use gel packets in my chamois, and eat chamois cream on bike rides.

wishiwasmerckx said...

I had a chance to sample the "baby food" at the Clif booth at Interbike last week.

Yes, the texture and flavor were as off-putting as they seem.

bcstractor said...

I thought that normal cars came equipped with wing mirrors so you could just look to see if there were no cars ready to smash your door off?

Frickus Rungus said...

I got a hammer nutrition gel packet and a pint glass at an organized ride this weekend. I threw away the gel and used my pint glass repeatedly. Under no circumstances am I going to share my pint glass with a baby. It's mine dammit!

N/A said...

Pizza mush looks disgusting. I'll stick to a tall icy beer every couple of miles for my bikecycling nourishment, thank you.

N/A said...

Applebee's gets a little angry when I circle their parking lot on my bike, but how else am I going to get my miles in?

rinjin said...

Pizza in a bag. Someone needs to be fired.

N/A said...

I bought some dog food recently that was in a pouch that looks suspiciously similar to that "Sweet corn & carrot with Turkey" pouch.

BamaPhred said...

I thought the Dutch Reach was the ability to reach across the table to grab the last pork chop without getting a fellow diner's fork stuck in your hand.

Anonymous said...

The 'Dutch reach' sounds like an expensive option in the Amsterdam red light district...

Synonymous said...

Ted makes a compelling argument today. Did Hillary say that last night?

N/A said...

The ol' Dutch Reach Around is a tricky maneuver. If you're not careful, you'll get your finger stuck in a dyke.

JLRB said...

Food? I thought they were enemas. That explains the mess.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Your marketing plan sucks. you could charge 5x the ammount, and people would pay, if you called it Astronaut Food.
BTW, could I get a Margherita Pizza packet delivered to me at the International Space Station?

bad boy of the north said...

jeans to t-shirt to jars to farm to table to gel pac to van to potty.

leroy said...

My dog insists that I ask if someone wears one's BSNYC jersey at Bicycling's Fall Classic ride this weekend, will that void the warranty?

What if someone gets baby food on it?

What if someone pre-rides the route in a rented Hyundai, while wearing the BSNYC jersey, eating baby food, accidentally dropping raspberry/maple syrup/ginger goo on one's self, while humming Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me"?

He says he's not asking for himself. He's asking for a guy he knows.

Which is odd because I'm planning on riding in the Lehigh Valley this weekend too.

DB said...

13 grams of sugar in the Fred's baby food?
Why not just have a Snickers?

bad boy of the north going back to the mines said...

oh yeah.pizza

Anonymous said...

A 5 pound bag of fair trade organic whole bean coffee sells for under $40 on the website of a certain large online wholesaler. The same bag is priced under $30 in their brick-and-mortar locations.

A 5 pound bag of BSNYC/RTMS fair trade organic whole bean (or ground) coffee sells for $73 via Sponsored Linkway.

Stuff costs more when it is bikey.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:22pm,

Now you're getting it!

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

I love you anyway. Now I know what a Trump supporter feels like.

Anon 12:22pm

N/A said...

I had my cobbler add cycling-specific aglets to my laces. I paid $175 dollars for the pair, but my rides are almost 63% more epic.

Anonymous said...

could i get a case of "BSNYC Labs Special Seasonal Gravel-Road Blend" baby food packets? how much shipped to zip 02345? and one more question, do you take Pay, pal?

thanks in advance

wats7 said...

Wow! Great post. Even left Ted k. at a loss for words.

Joe said...

It appears that the baby food is actually better nutritionally as bike food (more potassium, little more protein, same amount of carbs but less added sugar). If I ate those disgusting gel packs, I would totally be switching to baby food.

Ted Topete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ted Topete said...

Those Clif Bar pouches are kinda awesome actually. I haven't been man enough to try the Pizza flavor yet, but the sweet potato is fantastic! For reals.

Hee Haw the barista said...

FORR EALS

dop said...

Four Eels

Waiting, Four Hour Window of Opportunity said...

If i impregnate my wife, while we're both wearing BSNYC Jersey's, will the Snob provide the baby's first year supply of baby food?

Marky Maypo said...

Is the Clif squeeze pouch available in over ripe banana?

Jan! said...

Eating baby food? Oh Snob, you truly are out of touch. Everyone knows injecting baby food is how it's done.

What Me Worry said...

Ted K 10:56 after listening to the two last night I'm inclined to agree. The Parasite who brags about paying no taxes or Wall Street Hill. Can't wait until the Clinton's once again turn the Lincoln Bedroom into a Motel8 for wealthy donors.

Jan! is right said...

Vaminolact® is especially designed for new born babies and infants.
It provides nourishment into your child’s blood stream when they cannot eat normally. It provides amino acids, which the body
will use to make proteins (to build and repair muscles, organs, and other body structures).
Vaminolact® is typically mixed with glucose, salts, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins, which together provide complete nutritional
needs.

Anonymous said...

Vanilla Gu should sponsor bukkake videos.

Trevor Noah said...

The only reason to pick between the Donald and the Hillary is when shopping for Halloween costumes

One Wonders Why said...

Clif has discontinued it's Montezuma's Revenge line.

McFly said...

I'm late now who beet Ginger with their banana?

Matt said...

So what mix are you running in your baby food pouch?

Anonymous said...

#whatgerberyourunning

Anonymous said...

Why is this a surprise after these folks made a fortune selling mylar squeeze packages of cake frosting for so many years? GU-ey, sugary stuff you squeeze into your mouth on a bike costs $X while gooey, sugary stuff you smear on a cake costs $Y. Go figure.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

A bag of pretzels suits me fine for a mid ride snack. I do like the espresso hammer gels for the 50 mgs of caffeine. Like to keep the coffee buzz peaking. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't waste the fun stamps on them.

Anonymous said...

Dang it, the uniqlo heattech secret is out.

Bogusboy said...

But the cycling-specific Clif gives you lot more of what they're famous for - sugar!

Kendall Clukey said...

Generic Noxzema as chamois cream- $3
Actual chamois cream- whatever you're willing to pay!

dancesonpedals said...

Ginger built a fruit market. She made Gilligan's banana stand

Mad Max said...

Alpo in a squeeze pouch

Anonymous said...

The worst thing about the cycling food is the empties found by the side of the road.

mdp said...

I'm going on a gravel ride. Can I get my baby food ouch slightly deflated?

Purcival said...

After my baby food feast, who is going to burp me?

Baby Steps said...

Your blog needs to be spoon fed to people.

tubasti said...

The "Dutch Reach?" Sounds like something they do in an Amsterdam whorehouse.

SoFlo'd said...

Thanks for the Python clip! Another great post... As usual. I almost bought those 541 "commuter" jeans just last week... Gladly I went with slim fit Hilfigers instead... Phew!!

Freddy Murcks said...

I like to poop in may van.

THE Pedantic Asshole said...

Did not a single one of you pedantic assholes alert Snob to the fact that he got the Gu pricing totally wrong? In both, the cost should be price/calorie, not price/volume or weight. In this case, the Gu costs 1.6 cents Mercan and the baby food is at 2.4 cents (also Mercan).

You could pay next to nothing for a bag of sawdust, but that's not going to give you what you need to get on the KOM tables.

Peter W. Polack said...

Funny that you happened upon the baby food connection.

I had spied those pouches in the baby food aisle a year or two ago and wondered about their usefulness for cycling.

Quite frankly, they don't provide enough calories for their volume, and the packaging leaves too much waste. Not to mention the cost per unit.

Your observations about Clif's offerings and the pricing differences, considering how similar they are in contents, is revealing.

Nice blog post!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:38... MANOMET?????!!!!

janinedm said...

Wait. If it's just calories, why not bring a ziplock bag full of honey and lard? (For my part, my favorite ride food is a PB&J or PB& banana sandwich)

apophasis said...

The Levi's Commuter jeans actually aren't bad and have some features that are actually useful. I don't give a crap about the u-lock holder, but the water/dirt-resistant coating seems to work well, even if it's short of real rain gear. And after two years riding in them, I haven't blown out the crotch yet, so the reinforcement seems to work okay.

I've never paid even half of the retail price, though. And they don't even seem to make the regular fit ones anymore.

JLRB said...

I am holding out for a cycling specific bicycle

N/A said...

Honey and lard make an excellent chamois cream, FYI.

PBJF said...

Jaine, Add some Fluffernutter to that.

PBJF said...

Make that Janine

Pedantic Asshole said...

Good try Janine,

Your not going to pull this pedantic asshole down the rabbit hole of cycling nutrition.

FFS, we just wrapped up the helmet debate.... AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pedantic Asshole:

*You're*

Cat 404 said...

Nosferatu gives us the fluorescent green-unibrow-for-charity

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/video_thumbnails/250edc21aebf9d793cc10b5f1a1fd04f.png

more at levisgranfondo.com

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

OK, I'm podium for tomorrow / today already.

vsk

Anonymous said...

lantern rouge from yesterday is today's stage winner.

Ignorewhal said...

Non-pedantic cycling nutrition video

https://vimeo.com/97870255

jodphoto said...

Do triathlon riders ever really reach the level of dexterity necessary to use these pouches of baby food? Wouldn't throwing the empty pouch on the ground initiate an abrupt lane change? Safety first!

plastic injection molding said...

I am holding out for a cycling specific bicycle

Bill Holmes said...

I know how enamored you are with gravel specific bikes so I'm pretty sure you will want a couple of these - http://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/gravel-bikes/the-3t-exploro-is-the-first-aero-gravel-bike?utm_source=BKE01&utm_medium=email&smartcode=YN_0004832821_0001575540